Plans for Law School in the Future

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Fwinning
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:37 pm

Plans for Law School in the Future

Postby Fwinning » Fri Apr 06, 2012 1:01 am

Long time viewer, first time posted. I'd appreciate any input.

First, I thought I'd start out by saying that I do NOT have any immediate plans for applying to law school. I am an undergraduate (senior year) who has come to the realization that my grades just aren't up to par for law school (2.8 gpa at my current school, 2.3 gpa overall :oops: ). I'm not one of those posters who are overly optimistic of banging out an incredible LSAT score and managing to get into a low ranked law school with high debt, low job prospect. I'm a realist and realize that my early years undergraduate years of partying and lack of dedication to school has led me in a direction of a more "typical" occupation, instead of a high prestige occupation of being an attorney. I can accept that. Here is what I plan on doing and again, any input/suggestions are appreciated:

I've always had a passion for the law field. I'm a Justice Studies major with a minor in Sociology and plan on becoming a real estate paralegal after graduation. I will be highly qualified for a well-paying Real-Estate Paralegal position (Internship, BA degree, real estate license, and Paralegal certificate) and will take that route after graduation. The problem that I am having is that I don't want to becoming a paralegal for 25-30 years. Becoming a paralegal is an occupation I don't mind obtaining immediately after undergraduate school, pursue it for 5-10 years, and then move on to something better.

What I want to know is if the path I'm taking the right path to getting into law school in the future? My plan is to separate myself 5-8 years from my undergraduate gpa, become a paralegal and advance in that profession, take the LSAT down the road (I have taken two practice LSAT tests completely cold, 161 on both so I believe if I commit a few months of my life to studying for the LSATs then I should break 165), and hopefully apply to law school 5-8 years down the road. For what it's worth, I also own a taxi company (it was my father's profession, I took it over when he became too old to work) if that helps increase my chances at acceptance at all.

I don't want to become an attorney for the salary. Within the next year, I should be making more than 6 figures (roughly 55k owning taxi company + hopefully 55-60k starting paralegal salary in Long Island, NY) so this isn't about the money for me. It's about career advancement in the future. So what I basically want to know from you guys is:

1) Is becoming a paralegal a good stepping stone to becoming an attorney?

2) Does separating myself 5-8 years from my undergraduate gpa dramatically improve my chances at admissions to law schools with a relatively high LSAT score? It's all hypothetical at this point but receiving 161s on both my practice LSATs without ever studying gives me some optimism.

3) Will owning a company + working full time for 5-8 years help my chances at law school admissions down the road? I know I'm not the owner of some huge multi-million dollar company, but do law school admissions officers value this kind of work ethic?

4) Is there anything else I can do over the years to help my chances?

Any input/suggestions would be highly appreciative. Thank you in advance.

atlas1886
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:12 pm

Re: Plans for Law School in the Future

Postby atlas1886 » Fri Apr 06, 2012 1:11 am

I'm really no expert but I doubt very seriously that you would need much time after UG (couple years?) to ready your app and get in to some decent schools. I think the most important thing is taking your time and getting to a point where you are SURE that law is what you want, without doing any further damage to your paper case meanwhile.

t14fanboy
Posts: 438
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:51 pm

Re: Plans for Law School in the Future

Postby t14fanboy » Fri Apr 06, 2012 1:15 am

Get a good LSAT score (like 172+). Other things are nice but not that relevant to law school admissions.

EMZE
Posts: 715
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:53 am

Re: Plans for Law School in the Future

Postby EMZE » Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:00 am

Fwinning wrote:1) Is becoming a paralegal a good stepping stone to becoming an attorney?

It's legal related work, so it shows you are interested in law and have some idea of what it looks like inside a firm.

Fwinning wrote:2) Does separating myself 5-8 years from my undergraduate gpa dramatically improve my chances at admissions to law schools with a relatively high LSAT score? It's all hypothetical at this point but receiving 161s on both my practice LSATs without ever studying gives me some optimism.

You can get into law schools now, but none of them are schools you should go to. I am not sure how well you can ever do with your current GPA, as far as getting into solid schools. 2.3 is a hard pill for schools to swallow.

Fwinning wrote:3) Will owning a company + working full time for 5-8 years help my chances at law school admissions down the road? I know I'm not the owner of some huge multi-million dollar company, but do law school admissions officers value this kind of work ethic?

Those two things alone will not improve your chances per se, but hopefully your experiences as a consequence of them will give you something unique to add. I also do not know if you can say anything about schools valuing your work ethic from doing those two things, since owning a company can involve as much or as little work as you put into it. Being a paralegal is good and fine, but unless you have some special project or whatever to put on your resume, just working for 5 years doesn't say anything about your work ethic. Just that you are a functioning member of society that holds a job. If you started your own company and it was successful, that would be better than just inheriting a company.

Fwinning wrote:4) Is there anything else I can do over the years to help my chances?

Do something more unique and different. The taxi stand is a good step, but if you are just maintaining the status quo there, you probably aren't doing much to better you shot at getting into a good school. Also, there's no shortage of people that graduate from college and go intern at a firm or work as a paralegal, so you're not getting some big boost since you will look like many other applicants. Joining the peace corps or military, getting the nobel prize, teach for america are about the only things that seem to consistently give a bump up.
Or, you can change your major over and over again and have a 400 credit 9 year undergraduate education, and along the way hope to raise your GPA above a 3.0. Once you earn your degree, your LSAC GPA is locked.

Otherwise, you may want to start considering the very real option of not going to law school, or accept going to a school for a degree just to hang on the wall. For 200k. I hope it works out, but the ship may have sailed. MBA programs are much more forgiving of GPA, and that may be a better option for you if you do own your own business.

bdole2
Posts: 271
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 5:58 pm

Re: Plans for Law School in the Future

Postby bdole2 » Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:10 am

Fwinning wrote:
hopefully 55-60k starting paralegal salary in Long Island, NY


Lol if I could get 60k starting as a paralegal I probably wouldn't be going to law school. 30k is more realistic.

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Lincoln
Posts: 1029
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:27 pm

Re: Plans for Law School in the Future

Postby Lincoln » Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:24 am

I had five years of full-time work experience when I started law school. I got into schools where my GPA was between 25th and 50th percentile, but nothing more than that. If you have an outstanding LSAT, an addendum might help, but don't expect schools to just forget about your GPA simply because you worked for a few years.

Randomnumbers
Posts: 356
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:26 pm

Re: Plans for Law School in the Future

Postby Randomnumbers » Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:52 am

If you get a 168+ LSAT, you should be able to get into WUSTL or another decent (but not T14) school. That being said, if you had a passion for your field of study as an undergrad, and are still sitting at under a 2.8 at your current school, I would seriously not recommend law school unless you have some reason to actually believe you'd go from horrid study habits to amazingly good ones. If you were never able to compete in the easy undergrad classes, how are you expecting to do at all decent in an environment full of stupidly smart people who live in the library with a forced curve?

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LawSuccess
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 3:48 pm

Re: Plans for Law School in the Future

Postby LawSuccess » Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:01 am

If you got a 161 cold on the LSAT, then I think you can do 170+ on the real thing. And, remember, the scores are good for 5 years, so take it within the 5 year period you plan to apply.




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